- A history TikToker with almost 100,000 followers has sparked debate on the platform.
- She made a series of videos saying Ancient Rome wasn’t “real” and comparing the empire to Disney.
- Numerous TikTokers have been posting their own videos to debunk her claims.
A TikToker known for making videos about history on the platform has sparked debate among academics within a niche community of historians on TikTok, with a clip saying Ancient Rome “isn’t real.”
The TikToker, whose handle is @momllennial_ and name is listed as “Donna D2,” has racked up 94,000 followers and 1.8 million likes since joining the platform in July 2020. Her bio states that she has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and history, and she has posted numerous videos about history, including Ancient Rome.
In one such TikTok posted on November 16, she said that Ancient Rome didn’t exist and was “a figment of the Spanish inquisition’s imagination.” She also falsely claimed there isn’t a single extant “Roman document” or “primary document,” despite the reported existence of Roman documents and tablets with Latin written on them.
In that video’s thumbnail, the creator put the words “Ancient Rome” in quotes and wrote that the civilization “isn’t real.”
Her clip has garnered almost 90,000 views and the comment section is flooded with viewers calling her a “troll” and listing names of different primary documents to dispute her claims.
On November 23, she posted a follow-up video titled “Three Minute Video: Rome Thesis,” which has gained almost 100,000 views. In the clip, she said her claim that Rome wasn’t real was a metaphor, but that “there are massive gaps in the archeological record” and argued Greece was the “power player” of the time period between 4th and 2nd century BC, not Rome.
She acknowledged that Rome was “an empire,” but compared the civilization’s cultural and economic power to Disney or “the circus” in today’s society.
Numerous history TikTokers have since duetted her videos and contradicted her.
Maxwell T. Paule, an ancient and classical studies professor at Earlham College in Indiana with over 145,000 TikTok followers, spoke out against one of the TikToker’s false claims that an old Roman document was actually Greek.
In his video, he called her a “conspiracy theorist” and said the document is clearly written in Latin. The history website History of Information reported that the document was authored by the Roman poet Gauis Cornellus Gallus and is the oldest surviving piece of Latin poetry.
She also claimed in a TikTok posted November 22 that Hadrian’s Wall, a Roman defensive military wall, “cannot be proven to be of Roman construction” and falsely said that it’s not a wall, but a road.
An academic TikToker who uses the handle @stillnotallhere refuted this in a duetted video, saying that she had previously visited Hadrian’s Wall, which is located in Brampton, England, and is a popular tourist destination.
Another history TikToker with over 140,000 followers duetted the same video and gave a detailed explanation for why it was most likely that the Romans built the structure. The consensus is that the wall is Roman and it was built by the Roman army at the behest of emperor Hadrian, and there are numerous surviving primary sources about the wall, Smithsonian Magazine reported.
It’s not the first time @momllennial_ has made provocative history-themed videos. In one video posted in late October, she appeared to suggest that the name “Jesus Christ” could be translated to “clitoris healer.” In June, she posted a TikTok where she appeared to speculate that Alexander the Great was actually a woman.
@momllennial_ did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.